How manufacturing SMEs can achieve competitive advantage by eliminating delays in delivery

Delivery Dates in Manufacturing - Are your delivery dates reliable for your customers? 


I’m guessing you’ve heard of, and are perhaps already signed up to, Amazon Prime? A subscription service that, amongst other benefits, offers free next day delivery on your orders. The idea of next day deliveries is not something most could have imagined 10 years ago, but with consumer mindsets changing all of the time, we know that nowadays people are willing to pay that little bit extra to receive a “premium” service. This mindset does not only apply to us as individuals; it is becoming ever more apparent in the B2B world with consistently great on-time-delivery performance increasingly seen as the minimum expected by our customers.


Why is it then, in this age of technology, that many SME’s seem to still struggle in this area? Over-promising and under-delivering against customer expectations remains all too common resulting in both a poor customer experience and costly disruptions to production schedules.


If Sales don’t have reliable, accurate information that advises them of realistic delivery dates they can offer the customer, then their focus on ‘closing the sale’ can lead to over-optimistic promised delivery dates. Over-optimistic delivery dates then become obvious in the production planning process prompting time consuming customer and order prioritisation debates.


Even if the delivery dates promised by sales are reasonable, many SME’s struggle with achieving a 360° visibility of capacity constraints, stock-outs or logistics issues resulting in sub-optimal/unrealistic production schedules. Unrealistic delivery dates and unrealistic production schedules make for unhappy customers.


“We want to be able to give our customer a delivery date that is set in stone and that we actually achieve. In our industry that would be a huge advantage over our competition; the customers we sell to don’t want hassle and a delayed delivery can put them off buying our products in the future.”

Charles Marshall, Marshall Trailers



From the conversations that I have daily with Manufactures, it is ringing loud and clear that this is a major challenge for SME Manufacturing companies in the UK. On-time-delivery is something that every business should strive to achieve in order for your business to grow.


How do we improve our On-Time-Delivery performance?


The only way to give your business the correct level of 360°, real-time visibility is to introduce one ‘version of truth’. A system that is used consistently across the board and gives your workforce access to four very important factors - capacity (Both machine and personnel capacity), material availability, available to promise, and, of course, the incredibly important production plan.


Why wouldn’t you want to introduce a reliable order fulfillment process, which when introduced will mean that your customers orders are delivered on time, with little or no intervention from the factory management?!


At Absoft, we have worked with Manufacturing clients to introduce reliable Planning and Scheduling, which is providing reliable delivery dates and helping our clients to ultimately achieve business growth. The answer is here, the answer is Absoft ADIMA.

Watch the DEMO video of Absoft ADIMA and get in touch to have a chat over what your business needs today. 


Navigate through the helpful articles below written with companies like yours in mind and to help Manufacturing SMEs tackle business challenges: